Many UKVI customers and immigration law practitioners will be aware that Premium Service Centre (PSC) appointments have become increasingly scarce in the last few months. We can only speculate about the cause, though many will wonder whether it has anything to do with the Government’s plan to roll out an entirely new in-country application process through its commercial partner Sopra Steria, who was awarded the £91m contract to provide the new services back in May (see press release here).
The new process could be implemented as soon as October this year, although the details are yet to be announced.
In the meantime, those looking to book a PSC appointment but facing the dreaded “no appointments available” barrier should not despair! Here are our top tips for securing an appointment:
- 1. Appointments are released approximately six weeks in advance and new appointments become available to book at midnight. If you need an appointment, this is the best time to log-in, although you should be prepared for some technical difficulties, as the website often struggles to cope with the increased traffic around this time.
- 2. Occasionally cancellations occur, which mean an appointment suddenly becomes available to book. Checking regularly at different times of the day is therefore recommended.
- 3. Consider attending an appointment at a regional PSC. The Croydon PSC appears to be the busiest, and you may have better luck elsewhere. Although for many this will likely involve additional travel, not all PSCs are far away – Solihull for example is a 1hr 45mins train journey from London Marylebone.
Of course, for many, the added hassle of getting an appointment will not be worth it, especially given the already high starting price. But for those who need an urgent decision on their application, we hope the above tips are helpful.